Now that he's had a full year as the District 3 county councilman, Republican Todd Huff called 2011 a period of learning and success.
"This has been a fantastic year," said Huff, a Timonium resident who defeated four-term incumbent Bryan McIntire in 2010. "It's been a great learning experience."
He is especially proud that he was able to introduce and have the Baltimore County Council approve legislation to ban panhandlers without a permit.
"It was definitely for the safety of people in the area," Huff said. "And that's going very well."
The police department has previously stated that it doesn't keep track of citations issued to panhandlers.
Huff added that legislation he sponsored to control the deer population, which also passed a county council vote, is also in the interest of public safety.
"We're going to start having controlled hunts at Oregon Ridge at night to thin out the herds, which will cut down on car accidents and Lyme disease," Huff said.
But critics have argued that the hunts are cruel and unjustified.
The year, however, was not without its hardships. He described the comprehensive zoning process as "grueling and exciting."
"I'm for protecting people's property rights," he said. "At the same time, I want to make the process fair for the community and people who own property."
And as the new year begins, Huff, who is also the operations manager at Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Center, which has six locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, hopes to continue making business development and growth a top priority. He plans to focus on businesses in Jacksonville and the York Road corridor.
"Revitalizing local businesses will stimulate economic growth and bring up the housing market," he said. "There are some great revitalization programs with the county. They do work very well with very low interest rate loans."
Determining the county budget for the 2013 fiscal year is also looming in Huff's mind.
"With a lot of county government retirements this year — it will free up some budget constraints," he said. "We're saving about $7 million from the police department alone."